Cape Verde: UN Torture Prevention Body Visits Cabo Verde for the First Time

The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is set to carry out its first visit to Cabo Verde from 29 September to 10 October, when it will examine the treatment of people deprived of their liberty and the safeguards in place for their protection against torture and ill-treatment. This visit will have a strong focus on the recently established National Preventive Mechanism, which is attached to the National Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship.

The five-member delegation will hold discussions with government officials, civil society, UN entities and others, will be visiting places where persons are deprived of their liberty and will be holding meetings and undertaking visits to places of detention together with the NPM.

Under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), States parties have an obligation to establish a monitoring body, known as the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), within one year of ratifying the Optional Protocol. Cabo Verde ratified the Optional Protocol in 2016, and appointed its NPM in September 2018.

"A strong NPM is the most efficient way to prevent torture and ill-treatment in places of deprivation of liberty and, as Cabo Verde has just established its mechanism, we will be focusing our visit on advising it to carry out its mandate in the best possible way, including through an adequate independent functional framework as well as an interdisciplinary approach" said Nora Sveaass, the head of the delegation. "Of course, we will also be visiting different places of detention, as it is the first SPT visit to the country, to monitor the detention conditions and to examine the legal safeguards that persons deprived of liberty have", she added.

At the end of the visit, the delegation will present its confidential preliminary observations to the government of Cabo Verde as well as to the National Preventive Mechanism.

The delegation will be composed of Ms. Nora Sveaass (Norway, Head of Delegation), Ms. Marija Definis-Gojanovic (Croatia), Mr. Hameth Saloum Diakhate (Senegal), Mr. Nika Kvaratskhelia (Georgia) and Mr. Victor Zaharia (Republic of Moldova).

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